There are several different kinds of water damage, and only a few of them are covered by the typical Florida homeowners insurance policy. Typical types of water damage that are covered include situations such as broken or damaged water pipes, but may exclude damage from flooding. The following is a quick overview of water damage coverage in Florida.
What to Do When You Experience Water Damage
The first thing to do if you have a claim is to contact your Florida homeowners insurance company, either through your agent or broker, or directly. Just make sure you inform them both verbally and in writing that you intend to file a claim, and be sure to do it within seventy-two hours of the incident. Give your agent or representative any information pertaining to the claim, such as emergency services or any steps taken toward mold prevention.
Your representative or agent may verify that the water has been shut off, either at the source of the damage or at the main if necessary. They may also advise you to contact a professional, such as a plumber, who can immediately fix or address any problems. You do, however, have the choice of which vendor you want even if they are not listed by your insurance company. If you do select a company not listed you should inform your insurance agent before any repairs or other actions take place.
Your Florida homeowners insurance company will give you the name of the adjuster who will inspect the damage and any subsequent repairs you have undertaken. This individual can answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding the claim. By law, insurers must answer a homeowner’s claim within fourteen days of filing. In that time the adjuster should be able to determine if your claim is covered by your policy, and give an initial estimate on the cost of the damage. In some special cases, such as a natural disaster, the fourteen day limit may be impossible and can be waived.
Florida Homeowners Insurance Perks
Some of the damages that may be covered concerning water damage are called “additional living expenses”, or ALE. These may pay for additional expenses if the damage prevents you from occupying your dwelling. It may cover costs such as food, housing, telephone, transportation, or storage. Carefully read your policy to determine exactly what additional expenses may be covered or speak with your agent.
Any type of mold damage resulting from the water damage may increase the cost of repair and replacement. Refer to your Florida homeowners insurance policy information to learn the extent of the limits or exclusions. There are no standards for mold remediation, but you can check with your insurance company for a list of reputable services. Make sure any contractor or professional you deal with is licensed and insured. Check references and take the time to speak with any representatives who will be handling your repairs. Keep abreast of any progress and make sure you also keep your insurance agent or adjuster informed.